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La'el Collins begins search for NFL team; Bengals worked him out before draft

He may not have been selected during the NFL Draft, but La'el Collins could impact a team as much as many first-rounders do this year.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The La'el Collins saga may finally be nearing the end, which is great news for Collins.

Once projected as a first-round pick in this year's NFL draft, Collins went undrafted amid an investigation into the death of his ex-girlfriend and her child. It's been one of the hardest weeks of Collins' life as he went from being talked up as a potential top-10 pick, to having to deal with their deaths while also going undrafted and losing out on millions of dollars.

Since the draft has ended, Collins met with police on Monday to discuss the murders, and he at no point has been a suspect. He's merely been a person of interest for obvious reasons, and it looks like he had nothing to do with the two deaths.

As for his NFL career, Collins is now free to sign with any NFL club, and several have already began courting him. The Buffalo Bills got he first crack after Rex Ryan met with Collins Monday night, per The Miami Dolphins are also courting him, per the Sun Sentinel, which also noted how Collins could benefit from going undrafted:

While he won't be able to regain the money lost by not being selected in the early rounds, it is possible that Collins could have his entire rookie contract guaranteed. And a creative team could create a circumstance that allows him to become an unrestricted free agent after two seasons if it doesn't tag him as an exclusive rights free agent.

Working in the Dolphins' favor is the fact that new vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum was a partner in the same sports agency, Priority Sports, that represents Collins. And the Dolphins play in one of the few states that doesn't have state income taxes.

According to Yahoo Sports' Rand Getlin, the Bengals were among a handful of teams to workout Collins before the draft. After spending a first and second-round pick on offensive lineman though, signing Collins looks unlikely for Cincinnati.

At this point, a team like the Bills, Dolphins, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos all seem like good teams where Collins can compete for a starting spot with a playoff contender.